Text "International Day of Peace - share and support our campaign to stop the Korean war". Hands doing the peace sign on the left of the image.

WILPF's Statement for the International Day of Peace 2021

Today, the world is observing the 40th annual International Day of Peace – a day originally established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 to observe a period of non-violence and ceasefire.

As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme for International Day of Peace 2021 is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.

But what does this mean in 2021, a year that seems to prove that the post-war system established to prevent war and to ensure dialogue has indeed failed?

On this Day, WILPF is calling on all those who believe in peace – activists, governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society – to mobilise for a better path forward. We call for solidarity with peace and justice activists in Afghanistan, Colombia, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Ukraine, DRC, Cameroon and in many other countries.

Listen to the message of Joy Onyesoh, President of WILPF, marking the International Day of Peace:

While we sound the alarm about ongoing crises, we continue supporting longterm peacebuilding – including the one in the Korean Peninsula. Because in the face of our current chaos, we must not forget to address the war that the international community has long abandoned – a war that could re-ignite at any time, and one that feminist peace activists have been working to reconcile for over seven decades.

This is why this year, WILPF is issuing a statement on International Day of Peace calling on the international community to help bring an end to the 70-year-long Korean War. Our statement highlights the issue and the historic and present work of women activists to demand a formal resolution to the war, and shares a series of actions governments must take to support peace in the Korean Peninsula.


WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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